Beards are not just for Terrorists | Express Tribune Blog – Views of DiscoMaulvi

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I came across an interesting blog post today on the Express Tribune web page by Syed Faiq Najeeb and started writing a comment there. It turned out that I wanted to preserve and highlight what I wrote, so I decided to just post it here and post a link there instead.

For years I lived any young adult’s dream; there was music, parties, banter, unorthodox festivities, substance abuse and a fair degree of foul play. Then things changed radically – it was nothing short of a revolution; I grew a beard.

After extensively studying and reading about both Islam and other religions, I started to pray five times a day and even encourage friends and colleagues towards the path of salvation. I have finally chosen spirituality over (supposed) rationality and have given up on worldly desires to pursue those of an eternal life.

Since I can’t post the entire article here, I would suggest you head over to the Express Tribune Blog to read it before reading my comments on it below.


Faiq and I are in the same boat; difference is I’ve been facing this "discrimination" for over 12 years (yes there was discrimination before 9/11 also!).

As I wrote in The Story of DiscoMaulvi, I too turned towards religion after a year of partying and living it up in college. Once I did start that journey, the decision to grow a beard came naturally. As Faiq pointed out in his post, “I no longer wished to be part of activities which I used to indulge in before”. In addition, the beard served as a reminder of my decision to turn towards religion and in times when I was tempted it often served to keep me in check.

The importance of the beard has been intentionally marginalized over the centuries. Whereby once the fact that you shaved meant that your testimony would not be accepted (in fact in the eyes of Imam Abu Hanifa, whose school of thought majority of the muslims in Pakistan claim to follow blindly, keeping a beard was obligatory), now we hear people claiming it is JUST A SUNNAH.

Regarding the issue of the bearded baddies, it is unfair to generalize the entire bearded population on the basis of the actions of some. It is like saying just because some Pakistanis are corrupt, all of them are. Bet that would cause most of the people to throw a hissy fit!

As for the "Dari Islam mein hai, Islam dari mein nahin" statement everyone loves to quote, that statement is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT YET COMPLETELY WRONG! By keeping a beard, you don’t become pious. But by not keeping a beard you can not be pious (if we take the position that the beard is obligatory as was the opinion of the 4 Imams whose schools of thought are widely followed or those of the numerous imams and scholars whose names most people never ever heard of).

May Allah give us the ability to understand Islam as understood by the sahaba (R) and the early generations. And may He make us obedient to His commands. Aameen.

Aly - Clean Shaven in August 1997

Aly B – August 1997, NCSU, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Aly B – May 2010, Pakistan Blog Awards, Karachi, Pakistan

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8 thoughts on “Beards are not just for Terrorists | Express Tribune Blog – Views of DiscoMaulvi”

  1. SubhanAllah … Alhumdulillah brother you have made me so happy. JazakAllah khair, May Allah bless you Aameen!

    “Verily, you (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.”

    (28:56)

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  2. @ Aly B – DiscoMaulvi,

    Islam, as preached and practiced for centuries, is intolerant towards other faiths.

    Do what ever you like with your beard, but remember one thing, your failure to practice tolerance towards other faiths will be your undoing ……. !!

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    1. @neel123: Thank you for your comment.

      Muslims might have become intolerant of other faiths, Islam is not. Islam provided protection to the Jews of Europe for centuries and they lived under Islamic rule without any fear of persecution. In fact it was Christians who persecuted them.

      There is a verse of the Quran which states “There is no coercion in religion.” This means that a Muslim can not force a non-muslim to accept Islam and indeed the conversion to Islam of a non-muslim is only acceptable if it is done out of sincerity and obedience towards God. If it is done for the sake of marriage, politics, money, power, etc it is of no use.

      Another verse of the Quran tells the Prophet (SAW) to say (rough translation): “for you is your religion and for me is mine”

      -Aly

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  3. So very true. Its just the stereotypical behaviour/analysis and the generalizations drawn thereby that put all the blame on the beards.

    It is the “corresponding inference” extracted on the basis of the voluntary action of sporting the beard on an individual’s behalf that is misleading and distracting.

    A person can be as good/bad a muslim with or without a beard. Completely agree.

    It was enlightening to read posts from both you and Faiq 🙂

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  4. @ Aly B – DiscoMaulvi,

    Your argument that Islam is great but the Muslims are not, does not hold water, because a religion is as good as the people practicing it.

    As long as the so called moderate Muslims take the opportunistic and hypocritical position of lecturing the world on Islam, while doing nothing about the extremism and intolerance, no one will buy your ” Islam is Great” stories …… !!

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